He sat by a furnace of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore.
And closer He bent with a searching gaze,
As He heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test
And He wanted the finest gold,
To mold as a crown, for the king to wear,
Set with gems of price untold.
So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Tho’ we fain would say Him "nay."
And watched the dross that we had not seen
As it melted and passed away.
And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright,
But our eyes were dim with tears,
We saw but the fire, not the Master’s hand,
And questioned with anxious fears.
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow
As it mirrored a form above,
That bent o’er the fire, though unseen by us
With a look of ineffable love.
Can we think it pleases His loving heart
To cause us a moment's pain?
Ah, no! But He sees through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.
So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure.
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat
Than was needed to make it pure.
~ A.F. Ingler
I saw a path and ran ahead
I nearly lost my way
Your mercy caught me by the arm
To Your side You bid me stay
I put my hope in my own plans
Which soon around me fell
You stopped me short upon that road
And said, "Rest and all will be well."
I'd surrendered all, but to my foe
Enticed into the briars
You turned his evil schemes instead
Into refining fires
I couldn't see my helplessness
Until my legs were broken
Till Shepherd's hands caressed my wounds
And healing words were spoken
You picked me up and carried me
And made me feel Your favorite
You held my head against Your chest
Until I grew to savor it
You tended me with gentlest touch
Then soothed all thought of fears
You sang forgiveness over me
And washed away my tears
There is no one like You, Lord
On whom I can rely
In loss, in danger or attack
You hear this poor sheep's cry
It's You Who keeps me from real harm
Who watches my coming and going
You shield me with Your strong right hand
From darts the enemy keeps throwing
You said to all who trust in You
You would give perfect peace
Enough for mind and heart to rest
To let all worrying cease
So, Lord, I trust You with my life
Your Shepherd's heart is pure
Your purpose for me's guarded well
And Your deliverance is sure
Please teach this sheep, Lord, how to wait
And strengthen me to stand
To put my hope in Your desires
And to love Your sovereign plan
You lead me into fields so green
Where streams of life are flowing
Where healing winds blow oft' and strong
And choicest fruits are growing
You set me free to hear Your voice
To follow at Your call
And even through the dark, cold nights
I'll know You've arranged it all
Yes, storms will come with battering rains
With hail and gusts and thunder
But these are meant to beckon me
To Your wings to pull me under
For it's in the darkness of the storm
My grip's most apt to tighten
And when my heart beats next to Yours
All earthly burdens lighten
— The End —